Eurozone unemployment falls to 11-year low

BRUSSELS: Unemployment in the eurozone fell in August to 7.4 percent, its lowest level since May 2008, according to official data released Monday.

The figure, which brought the number of unemployed in the single currency bloc to 12.17 million, was lower than a forecast by financial data provider Factset, which predicted unchanged unemployment at 7.5 percent.

Unemployment in the eurozone thus fell below the rate just prior to the world financial crisis in 2008 (7.5 percent) after reaching 12.1 percent in mid-2013 at the height of the debt crisis.

Germany, the leading economy in the euro area, recorded the lowest level of the 19 euro countries, stable at 3.1 percent followed by Malta at 3.3 percent and the Netherlands at 3.5 percent.

The large countries of Southern Europe are still well above the average.

Greece, which put an end to a series of bailouts in 2018, recorded the highest level, at 17 percent according to June figures, the latest data available.

In Spain, the percentage of unemployed declined in August to 13.8 percent, a smaller decline than in Italy which fell to 9.5 percent, down 0.3 points. France remained stable at 8.5 percent.

Unemployment among workers under 25 fell to 15.4 percent, with again Greece at the top with 33 percent according to June figures.

In Spain it rose slightly in August to 32.2 percent.

In the countries of the European Union as a whole, unemployment fell to 6.2 percent.


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